Unfortunately, medication errors are an all too common occurrence in the medical field. In fact, in America, more than one million individuals are injured each year by medication mistakes. A medication error can happen when an error occurs during drug prescription, medication dispensing and distribution, monitoring, and medication use, amongst others instances. Sadly, when one of these mishaps occurs, patients are often left seriously injured or with a worsened medical condition. Sometimes the mistake can be fatal.
Since medication errors are so prevalent, it is best for you to know the most common types so that you can keep an eye out and know when to ask questions. The most common fatal medication error is mistakes in dosing. This means a patient is given either too little or much medication, often overloading the body and causing it to shut down. The second most common medication error involves giving a patient the wrong medication. Again, when a body is given a drug that it does not need, serious, irreparable damage can be done.
While this may sound scary, there is action you can take to help protect yourself. For example, when you are prescribed a drug by your doctor, be sure to ask for the medications name, the proper dosage, and how to administer it. This will help you catch any errors when you actually receive the medication. Also, if you have doubts about something, then speak up. When it comes to your health, you are the best advocate. If a medication or dosage seems amiss be sure to ask about it.
Unfortunately, even taking these steps may not fully prevent a medication error from occurring. Those who are harmed by such a mishap should consider speaking with an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney who can help you fight for justice, closure and compensation.
Source: MedicineNet.com, “The Most Common Medication Errors,” Melissa Conrad Stoppler, accessed on Nov. 22, 2014